We fished on until 10.30pm as the twilight seems to last for ever at this time of year. As we walked back down the banks, the bivvy boys were settling down for the night with beta lights and alarms glowing and primed for action. We asked a few of them if they had been successful, with only one of them reporting having caught a fish – an eel of about half a pound. This made me feel a little better about my limited success, but those of you who know meknow that i am not fazed by a lack of fish as i enjoy fishing just as much as catching fish.
I spent my first evening session of the season on one of my favourite lengths of the Irwell. As i knew Big Dave was coming i chose to fish the swim nearest to the car park. This proved to be a mistake as it only produced three minnows in an hours fishing.
Tony also came down to fish this evening, and he chose to fish one of the shallower swims behind the island. He only stayed for an hour as he wasnt feeling great but still managed to catch a couple of small chub.
After getting fed up of the first swim i moved 500yds up river to a swim i have enjoyed some success in before. I wasnt to be disapointed this time as during the next few hours i caught a succession of chub, roach, gudgeon and minnows. I love fishing at this time of the year as the twilight seems to last for ever, and this evening i was still fishing at 10.30!!!
Even though i didnt catch any of the bigger chub which inhabit this length of river, by feeding constantly i was getting bites and fish on a regular basis. I only had maggots as bait this evening so didnt have anything to bypass the smaller fish. I will be coming back to this swim in the next couple of weeks armed with hemp, caster and worm to see if i cant tempt some of the lunkers that were splashing about as night was falling.
Matthew and i had a couple of hours up at Pilsworth last night in search of carp, but we couldnt carch any thing other than Bream. Matt hooked into another decent fish, which took him straight across the lake and into the weeds. He is determined to bank a carp so it looks like we will be having another session together soon.
Its taken time for him to get the fishing bug, as i often think he accompanies me just to keep me happy. If he decides that carp fishing is the thing for him (which its not for me) then i dont mind spending a bit of time sitting behind a pod and buzzer bars, as long as he catches fish and learns to enjoy his fishing.
I am looking forwards to a trip out with Phil and Tony tomorrow as its the first day of the coarse season.
The last visit to the Ship Canal with Phil was hard work as it was blowing a gale, making bite detection all but impossible, we knew the fish were there, as our baits were regularly chewed up by the fish, but the wind made bite detection virtually impossible. This morning it was the exact opposite with a glassy calm making bait presentation and bite detection far simpler.
My killer method was to lay a bed of groundbait using an open end feeder at two rodlengths out in 14 ft of water. I then trotted through a 4 gram Cralusso Bolo float in the gentle flow.
Bites and fish came thick and fast, and i gave up counting after reaching 50 fish. The roach were in pristine condition ranging in size from 4 – 12oz. The chub were a smaller stamp from 2 – 8oz.
I caught steadily til about 10.30am when the bites slowed and then stopped. By this time the early morning mist had dissappeared and the bright sunshine must have put the fish off the feed.
I fished on until 12.30 but in the last hour the size of the fish got smaller until the bites dried up completely. Miggy came along at about 11am to tell me he had caught another Pike of about15lb ana a nice tench of about 5lbs.
I have no idea of the total bag weight i caught but guessing that the average weight of fish was 6oz then i must have had a net of at least 20lbs of roach and small chub. The best days silver fishing i have had in ages. It would have been interesting to see and photograph such a bag of fish but unfortunately its still the close season until the 16th June so keep nets are not allowed.
The Bolo float worked like dream holding its line two rod lengths out, there wasnt even a hint of it trying to return to the line behind the rod tip. Another bonus of using this type of float is that it doesnt ride up when being held back against the flow.
At 12.30 went home for a well deserved sleep.
In the evening i went fishing with my favourite fishing parter. He gets into lots of tangles and misshaps, but is the best company i could ask for.
Matt is slowly becoming a better angler and can now set up his rod, tie some of the knots, hook and land small fish but hasnt the experience to play and land larger specimens. We took a quick two hour trip to Maceys in Bury.
Matt caught this skimmer first cast, then had a few perch and a roach.
He then hooked into a fish that took off like a train across the lake – everything was going wrong for him, letting the rod tip fall and follow the line of the fish, letting the fish into the weeds, letting it swim under the fishing platform, despite all this just as i was about to slip the net under a lovely 5lb plus mirror carp the hooklength parted. Matthew i feel for you but you know its only a matter of time before you catch a cracker.
As i had an hour or so free after work this evening so went for a quick fix of my new drug upstream nymphing.
After having a couple of practise casts in the swim i fished with Phil and Tony yesterday evening i moved a couple of hundred yards downstream and fished the gentle weir pool in the photo above.
I had about 5 good takes which resulted in the fish below and another nicer one which slipped out of my hands before i could photograph it.
The gear i used is not really fit for the job as the lightest line i own is a 6 weight. This line is great for still waters and the larger rivers i sometimes fish, but on a small stream such as this i winced every time the heavy line crashed into the water. Additionaly the rod i was using was long at 8ft 6″ and a 7ft rod would be far more suitable for small streams, i seemed to spend alot of time retrieving my fly from the undergrowth rather than fishing it through the swim.
I have a feeling that before i fish this stream again i will be raiding my fathers tackle collection – beware dad i am coming round for a cup of tea and a chat tomorrow!!
Lastly again thanks to Tony for his killer ptn pattern which gave me 4 out of the 5 takes i had this afternoon and both fish.